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Build A Plane winners begin Sportsman projectBuild a Plane winners begin Sportsman project

The Wisconsin high school winners of the GAMA/Build A Plane 2016 Aviation Design Challenge are in Arlington, Washington, turning wrenches and installing components on a Glasair Sportsman.
Weyauwega-Fremont High School in Weyauwega, Wisconsin students Logan Feltz, teacher Mike Hansen, Natasha Stemwedel, Austin Krause, chaperone Jerry Graf, and Derrick Cleaves will travel to Glasair Aviation to build a Sportsman aircraft as winners of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge. Photo courtesy of Weyauwega-Fremont High School.

Under supervision from Glasair Aviation, four students, a teacher, and a chaperone from Weyauwega-Fremont High School will spend the next two weeks building the two-seat aircraft.

In a June 20 news release, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said the airplane’s owner Dennis Willows, his daughter, Grace, and grandsons Angus and Ian will work alongside the students to build the airplane. Pete Bunce, president of the association, will help oversee construction of the airplane along with former Jeppesen CEO Mark Van Tine and others.

The team emerged victorious over 76 high school teams tackling aerospace engineering concepts aimed to squeeze the most efficient use of design and power from a Cessna 172SP. Students used their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM) to modify a virtual airplane with software powered by X-Plane.

When the winners were announced in May, judges said they “scored the aircraft based on the payload, the length of the flight, and the amount of fuel burned.”

Contest officials said that in addition to posting high essay grades, Weyauwega was one of two schools to score 1,100 points on the STEM project.

Bunce said, “Building the Sportsman with our Aviation Design Challenge winners is one of the highlights of the year for me personally and for the GAMA staff.”

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Aviation Education Programs

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